nep-mon New Economics Papers
on Monetary Economics
Issue of 2007‒09‒09
twenty papers chosen by
Bernd Hayo
Philipps-University Marburg

  1. Discretion and the transmission lags of monetary policy By Kilponen, Juha; Leitemo, Kai
  2. Exchange Market Pressure and Monetary Policy: Evidence from Pakistan By M. Idrees Khawaja
  3. Learning and optimal monetary policy By Richard Dennis; Federico Ravenna
  4. Housing and the monetary transmission mechanism By Frederic S. Mishkin
  5. Interest Rate Signals and Central Bank Transparency By Pierre Gosselin, Aileen Lotz and Charles Wyplosz
  6. Strategic Complementarities and Optimal Monetary Policy By Levin, Andrew; López-Salido, J David; Yun, Tack
  7. Information Acquisition by Price-Setters and Monetary Policy By Volker Hahn
  8. Economic Integration and the Foreign Exchange By Weber, Enzo
  9. "Endogenous Money: Structuralist and Horizontalist" By L. Randall Wray
  10. Congress, Treasury, and the Accountability of Exchange Rate Policy: How the 1988 Trade Act Should Be Reformed By C. Randall Henning
  11. The monetary approach to exchange rates in the CEECs By Crespo-Cuaresma, Jesús; Fidrmuc, Jarko; McDonald , Ronald
  12. Incentives and the Limits to Deflationary Policy By David Andolfatto
  13. Bilaterial equilibrium exchange rates of EU accession countries against the euro By Rahn , Jörg
  14. Gradual Wage-Price Adjustments, Labour Market Frictions and Monetary Policy Rules By Christian Proaño Acosta
  15. Fiscal Policy, Labour Unions and Monetary Institutions: Their Long Run Impact on Unemployment, Inflation and Welfare By Cukierman, Alex; Dalmazzo, Alberto
  16. Which Interest Rate Should We Use In The Is Curve? By John J. Heim
  17. Optimum currency area theory: A selective review By Horvath , Julius
  18. The euro goes East. Implications of the 2000-2002 economic slowdown for synchronisation of business cycles between the euro area and CEEs By Fidrmuc, Jarko; Korhonen, Iikka
  19. The Information Content of Inflationary Expectations Derived from Bond Prices in Israel By Elkayam, David; ILek, Alex
  20. Regulation of Reserves and Interest Rates in a Model of Bank Runs By Geethanjali Selvaretnam

  1. By: Kilponen, Juha (Bank of Finland Research); Leitemo, Kai (Norwegian School of Management (BI))
    Abstract: Monetary policy transmission lags create credibility problems for the inflation-targeting policy maker who acts under discretion. We show that if prices react to monetary policy with a longer lag than output, the welfare maximizing inflationtargeting policy implies no policy stabilization of cost-push shocks in the canonical New Keynesian model. The reason is simple: for the period monetary policy influences output, inflation is predetermined and the best discretionary policy is to stabilize the output gap fully. We find that money growth targeting comes close to replicating the welfare-maximizing policy under commitment if there are transmission lags.
    Keywords: discretionary and stabilization bias; monetary policy; transmission lags; inflation targeting; money targeting
    JEL: E52 E58 E61
    Date: 2007–08–15
  2. By: M. Idrees Khawaja (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)
    Abstract: The study employs Girton and Roper (1977) measure of exchange market pressure—sum of exchange rate depreciation and foreign reserves outflow, to examine the interaction between exchange market pressure and monetary variables, viz. domestic credit (Reserve Money) and interest rate. Evidence from impulse response functions suggests that domestic credit has remained the dominant tool of monetary policy for managing exchange market pressure. The increase in domestic credit upon increase in exchange market pressure (during 1991–98) is imprudent. The result suggests that fiscal needs/growth objective might have dominated the external account considerations during the span. Post 9/11 there is evidence of sterilised intervention in forex market. Interest rate has also weakly served as the tool of monetary policy during the hay days of foreign currency deposits (1991–98). The finding implies that for interest rate to work as tool of monetary policy vis-a-vis exchange market pressure a reasonable degree of capital mobility is called for.
    Keywords: Monetary Policy, Foreign Exchange
    JEL: E52 F31
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Richard Dennis; Federico Ravenna
    Abstract: To conduct policy efficiently, central banks must use available data to infer, or learn, the relevant structural relationships in the economy. However, because a central bank's policy affects economic outcomes, the chosen policy may help or hinder its efforts to learn. This paper examines whether real-time learning allows a central bank to learn the economy's underlying structure and studies the impact that learning has on the performance of optimal policies under a variety of learning environments. Our main results are as follows. First, when monetary policy is formulated as an optimal discretionary targeting rule, we find that the rational expectations equilibrium and the optimal policy are real-time learnable. This result is robust to a range of assumptions concerning private sector learning behavior. Second, when policy is set with discretion, learning can lead to outcomes that are better than if the model parameters are known. Finally, if the private sector is learning, then unannounced changes to the policy regime, particularly changes to the inflation target, can raise policy loss considerably.
    Keywords: Monetary policy
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Frederic S. Mishkin
    Abstract: The housing market is of central concern to monetary policy makers. To achieve the dual goals of price stability and maximum sustainable employment, monetary policy makers must understand the role that housing plays in the monetary transmission mechanism if they are to set policy instruments appropriately. In this paper, I examine what we know about the role of housing in the monetary transmission mechanism and then explore the implications of this knowledge for the conduct of monetary policy. I begin with a theoretical and empirical review of the main housing-related channels of the transmission mechanism. These channels include the ways interest rates directly influence the user cost of housing capital, expectations of future house-price movements, and housing supply; and indirectly influence the real economy through standard wealth effects from house prices, balance sheet, credit-channel effects on consumer spending, and balance sheet, credit-channel effects on housing demand. I then consider the interaction of financial stability with the monetary transmission mechanism, and discuss the ways in which the housing sector might be a source of financial instability, and whether such instability could affect the ability of a central bank to stabilize the overall macroeconomy. I conclude with a discussion of two key policy issues. First, how can monetary policy makers deal with the uncertainty with regard to housing-related monetary transmission mechanisms? And second, how can monetary policy best respond to fluctuations in asset prices, especially house prices, and to possible asset-price bubbles?
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Pierre Gosselin, Aileen Lotz and Charles Wyplosz (IUHEI, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: The present paper extends the literature on central bank transparency that relies on information heterogeneity among private agents in four directions. First, it adds the interest rate to the list of signals that the central bank can reveal. Second, it allows for more than one economic fundamental. Third, it extends the range of uncertainties that matter. So far the literature has focused on uncertainty about the economic fundamentals, assumed to be estimated with known precision; we also allow for uncertainty about precision. Fourth, it derives results that are general in the sense that they do not depend on any particular social welfare criterion. Each extension sheds new light on the role of central bank transparency.
    Keywords: central bank transparency, monetary policy, information asymmetry
    JEL: E42 E52 E58
    Date: 2007–08–24
  6. By: Levin, Andrew; López-Salido, J David; Yun, Tack
    Abstract: In this paper, we show that strategic complementarities--such as firm-specific factors or quasi-kinked demand--have crucial implications for the design of monetary policy and for the welfare costs of output and inflation variability. Recent research has mainly used log-linear approximations to analyze the role of these mechanisms in amplifying the real effects of monetary shocks. In contrast, our analysis explicitly considers the nonlinear properties of these mechanisms that are relevant for characterizing the deterministic steady state as well as the second-order approximation of social welfare in the stochastic economy. We demonstrate that firm-specific factors and quasi-kinked demand curves yield markedly different implications for the welfare costs of steady-state inflation and inflation volatility.
    Keywords: firm-specific factors; quasi-kinked demand; welfare analysis
    JEL: E31 E32 E52
    Date: 2007–08
  7. By: Volker Hahn (Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine a model where firms decide on the intensity of information acquisition about shocks. We analyze how the monetary policy framework impacts on the aggregate amount of information collected by firms. We show that it is socially beneficial to delegate monetary policy to a conservative central bank even if there are no incentives to push output above its long-run level. Transparency of central banks about economic shocks has ambiguous eects on welfare. If an extreme level of opacity is feasible, it represents the social optimum. Otherwise full transparency may be a second-best solution.
    Keywords: conservative central banker, optimal monetary policy, information acquisition, Phillips curve, transparency
    JEL: E58 E13 E12
    Date: 2005–03
  8. By: Weber, Enzo
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates effects of economic convergence processes on the foreign exchange behaviour in a monetary modelling approach. Since the exchange rate represents the relative price of two currencies, commonness of stochastic trends between the fundamental determinants of supply and demand of the underlying monies restricts exchange rate movements to transitory fluctuations. In the spirit of optimal currency areas, this has the potential to serve as a criterion for an all-round integration of two economies. Empirically, such a constellation is found between Australia and New Zealand, whereas diverging trends in money and interest rates characterise the relation of Australia towards the US.
    Keywords: Monetary Exchange Rate Model; Convergence; Stationarity; Australia
    JEL: C32 F31 F41
    Date: 2007–06
  9. By: L. Randall Wray
    Abstract: While the mainstream long argued that the central bank could use quantitative constraints as a means to controlling the private creation of money, most economists now recognize that the central bank can only set the overnight interest rate-which has only an indirect impact on the quantity of reserves and the quantity of privately created money. Indeed, in order to hit the overnight rate target, the central bank must accommodate the demand for reserves, draining the excess or supplying reserves when the system is short. Thus, the supply of reserves is best characterized as horizontal, at the central bank's target rate. Because reserves pay relatively low rates, or even zero rates (as in the United States), banks try to minimize their holdings. Over time, they continually innovate, as they seek to minimize costs and increase profits. This includes innovations that reduce the quantity of reserves they need to hold (either to satisfy legal requirements, or to meet the needs of check cashing and clearing), and also innovations that allow them to increase the rate of return on equity within regulatory constraints, such as those associated with Basle agreements. Such behavior has been a central concern of the structuralist approach-which argued that it is too simplistic to hypothesize simple horizontal loan-and-deposit supply curves.
    Date: 2007–09
  10. By: C. Randall Henning (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: The controversy within the United States over Chinese exchange rate policy has generated a series of legislative proposals to restrict the discretion of the Treasury Department in determining currency manipulation and to reform the department’s accountability to Congress. This paper reviews Treasury’s reports to Congress on exchange rate policy—introduced by the 1988 Trade Act—and Congress’s treatment of them. It finds that the accountability process has often not worked well in practice: The reports provide only a partial basis for effective congressional oversight. For its part, Congress held hearings on less than half of the reports and overlooked some important substantive issues. Several recommendations can improve guidance to the Treasury, standards for assessment, and congressional oversight. These include (1) refining the criteria used to determine currency manipulation and writing them into law, (2) explicitly harnessing US decisions on manipulation to the International Monetary Fund’s rules on exchange rates, (3) clarifying the general objectives of US exchange rate policy, (4) reaffirming the mandate to seek international macroeconomic and currency cooperation, (5) requiring Treasury to lead an executivewide policy review, and (6) institutionalizing multicommittee oversight of exchange rate policy by Congress. Legislators should strengthen reporting and oversight of broader exchange rate policy in addition to strengthening the provisions targeting manipulation.
    Keywords: Exchange rate policy, currency manipulation, accountability, congressional oversight, China,Treasury, International Monetary Fund
    JEL: F31 F33 F42 F51 F53
    Date: 2007–09
  11. By: Crespo-Cuaresma, Jesús (BOFIT); Fidrmuc, Jarko (BOFIT); McDonald , Ronald (BOFIT)
    Abstract: A panel data set for six Central and Eastern European countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) is used to estimate the monetary exchange rate model with panel cointegration methods, including the Pooled Mean Group estimator, the Fully Modified Least Square estimator and the Dynamic Least Square estimator. The monetary model is able to convincingly explain the long-run dynamics of exchange rates in CEECs, particularly when this is supplemented by a Balassa-Samuelson effect. We then use our long-run monetary estimates to compute equilibrium exchange rates. Finally, we discuss the implications for the accession of selected countries to the European Economic and Monetary Union.
    Keywords: exchange rates; monetary model; panel unit root tests; panel cointegration; EMU
    JEL: C33 F31 F36
    Date: 2007–09–06
  12. By: David Andolfatto (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: I study a version of the Lagos-Wright (2005) model for which the Friedman rule is always a desirable policy, but where implementation may be constrained by the need to respect incentive-feasibility. In the environment I consider, incentives are distorted owing to private information and limited commitment. I demonstrate that a monetary economy can overcome the former friction, but not necessarily the latter. When this is so, there is an incentive-induced lower bound to the rate of deflation away from the Friedman rule. There are also circumstances in which the best incentive-feasible monetary policy may entail a strictly positive rate of inflation. This will be the case, for example, if agents are sufficiently impatient or if there are rapidly diminishing returns to production.
    Date: 2007
  13. By: Rahn , Jörg (BOFIT)
    Abstract: We apply BEER and PEER approaches to calculate real equilibrium exchange rates for five EU accession countries in central and east Europe. Bilateral nominal equilibrium exchange rates against the euro are obtained through algebraic transformation of the results. Panel cointegration techniques are used to check the adequacy of the empirical model. The results reveal substantial overvaluations of the real exchange rate in several EU accession countries. Overvaluation is even higher when these exchange rates are expressed in nominal terms against the euro.
    Keywords: real exchange rates; equilibrium exchange rates; transition economies; panel cointeg
    JEL: C23 F31 F41
    Date: 2007–09–06
  14. By: Christian Proaño Acosta (IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation)
    Abstract: Contrary to the assumption of perfectly flexible labour markets commonly used in mainstream macroeconomic models, in the real world the existence of structural imperfections such as search and trading costs hinder the frictionless functioning of these markets, generally leading to outcomes of Non-Walrasian type with involuntary unemployment and open vacancies in "equilibrium". In this paper the author models the existence of labour market frictions into a Keynesian (Disequilibrium) AS-AD framework in the line of Asada, Chen, Chiarella and Flaschel (2006) through a labour search and matching function. By means of dynamic shock simulations, the author finds that the extent of the labour market rigidity has a great importance for the dynamics not only of employment and output, but also of wage and price inflation, and consequently also for the conduction of monetary policy.
    Keywords: Labour market frictions, staggered wage and price dynamics, (D)AS- AD, monetary policy
    JEL: E31 E52
    Date: 2007
  15. By: Cukierman, Alex; Dalmazzo, Alberto
    Abstract: OBJECTIVES AND MOTIVATION: This paper considers the impact of interactions between fiscal policy and monetary institutions in the presence of unionized labour markets on economic outcomes and welfare in the long run. Two main classes of questions are investigated. First, what is the impact of exogenously given labour taxes and unemployment benefits on the choice of monetary policy by the central bank, on the choice of nominal wages by unions, on the choice of prices by monopolistically competitive firms and through them on unemployment, inflation and welfare? Second, how are labour taxes and redistribution chosen by a (Stackelberg leader) fiscal authority whose objectives are a weighted average of social welfare and of catering to the interests of political supporters, and how does the general equilibrium induced by this choice affect welfare? The framework of the paper is motivated by the European scene in which the fraction of the labour force covered by collective agreements dominates wage setting in the labour market. "PLAYERS" AND PAYOFFS: The model economy features labour unions that maximize the expected real income of union members over states of employment and of unemployment, a central bank that strives to minimize the combined costs of inflation and of unemployment, and a continuum of monopolistically competitive firms, each of which maximizes its profits. The last part of the paper also features a fiscal authority that sets taxes and redistribution so as to maximize a combination of social welfare and of benefits to particular constituencies. Utility from consumption is characterized by means of a CES, Dixit-Stiglitz, utility function and (as in Sidrauski type models) money appears in the utility function. METHODOLOGY AND "PLAYERS" STRATEGIES: The first question is investigated within a three stage game in which labour unions move first and commit to nominal wages and the central bank moves second and chooses the money supply. In the third and last stage each of a large number of monopolistically competitive firms picks its price. To deal with the second class of questions the game is expanded to feature a preliminary stage in which government chooses labour taxes and redistribution anticipating the subsequent responses of the other players. General equilibrium is characterized and used to find the impact of various economic and institutional parameters.
    Keywords: labour unions; long run inflation unemployment tradeoff; monopolistic competition; fiscal monetary policy interactions; monetary institutions; politics and fiscal policy; welfare
    JEL: E5 E6 H2 J3 J5 L1
    Date: 2007–08
  16. By: John J. Heim (Department of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590, USA)
    Abstract: Do interest rates effect investment and the GDP? If so, which ones, and by how much? Research on this topic over 5 decades has produced conflicting results. Yet, this question is of critical importance to the viability of Keynesian macroeconomics. This paper attempts to explain why results have been conflicting. It also attempts to determine with some finality which rate(s), if any, are related to GDP through the standard Keynesian mechanism: the IS curve. The paper tests exhaustively (1) a variety of real and nominal rates, (2) different hypotheses about how businesses calculate “real” interest rates (3) how the number of lags used affects results, (4) whether small sample size inherent in annual time series data adversely affects results, and (5) whether lack of hetroskedasticity and autocorrelation controls in earlier studies influenced their findings. This paper concludes only the real prime or Federal funds rates, lagged two years and the nominal current mortgage rate are significantly related to variation in the GDP, and running the prime rate alone picks up most of the variation in both. The prime rate was found to be twice as important as the mortgage rate. It also finds relatively small size (40 observation) annual data sets do not lead to problems achieving statistical significance, at least in simple IS curve models. It also finds that post - 1980 White and Newey - West correction methods for hetroskedasticity make it far more likely that any of a wide variety of interest rates and lags will be found statistically significant than was the case in earlier studies, but that correcting for multicollinearity between rates again leaves only the real prime and Federal funds rate lagged two periods and perhaps the current nominal mortgage rate significant. The effect of changes in the prime rate and mortgage rates on the GDP, though systematic, appears to be small, implying the IS curve may be nearly vertical and the Fed’s interest rate policy of little significance unless rate changes are draconian. We estimate that even a five percentage - point change in the real Federal funds and prime rates changes GDP only 2.4%, and employment only 1.2% maximally (using Okun’s law). Other findings were that nominal interest rates deflated by adaptive expectations models of inflation using the past two year’s inflation seem to best describe how businesses calculate real rates. Rational expectations models were least successful. Other rates examined include the ten year treasury rate, the Aaa and Baa corporate rates. They were seldom found statistically significant, but the mortgage rate’s estimated marginal effect seems to also capture these rates’ effect on the economy.
    JEL: E12 E22 E40
    Date: 2007–08
  17. By: Horvath , Julius (BOFIT)
    Abstract: The first part of this paper is a review of significant papers in the vast literature on optimum currency area (OCA) theory. The author focuses on the main classical contributions, then considers modern treatment of OCA theory. The second part considers empirical literature on the types of geographical areas that might constitute optimum currency areas, particularly with respect to asymmetry and symmetry of shocks.
    JEL: E42 F33
    Date: 2007–09–06
  18. By: Fidrmuc, Jarko (BOFIT); Korhonen, Iikka (BOFIT)
    Abstract: We assess the correlation of supply and demand shocks between current countries in the euro area and EU accession candidates from 1993/1995 to 2002. Supply and demand shocks are recovered from estimated structural VAR models of output growth and inflation. Notably, the economic slowdown between 2000 and 2002 increased heterogeneity of business cycles between the euro area and acceding counties. We find that several acceding countries have a quite high correlation of underlying shocks with the euro area and conclude that continuing integration within the EU is likely to align the business cycles of these countries in a manner similar to the synchronisation of supply and demand shocks we document for the EU in the 1990s.
    Keywords: optimum currency area; EU enlargement; structural VAR
    JEL: E32 F42
    Date: 2007–09–05
  19. By: Elkayam, David; ILek, Alex
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the information content of data on inflationary expectations derived from the Israeli bond market. The results indicate that these expectations are unbiased and efficient with respect to the variables considered. In other words, we cannot reject the hypothesis that these expectations are rational. The existence of continuous data of this type, which is unique to the Israeli economy, enables us to test a number of hypotheses concerning the nature of price adjustment. The study found that expected inflation is a primary factor in the explanation of current inflation. This result is in agreement with the neo-Keynesian approach according to which the adjustment of prices is costly and as a result price increases in the present are determined primarily by expectations of future price increases. It was also found that inflation in Israel is better explained by the neo-Keynesian approach than by the Classical approach or the 'lack of information' approach according to which current inflation is determined by past, rather than current, inflationary expectations. Another issue examined in this study is whether inflationary inertia existed in Israel during the 1990s. From conventional estimation of an inflation equation (i.e. using future inflation as proxy for expectations) one can get the impression that there was strong inflationary inertia during this period. However, when data on inflationary expectations from the bond market were used in the estimation, this inertia (i.e. lagged inflation) became negative (and insignificant). This finding raise the possibility that inflationary inertia that is found elsewhere is not a structural phenomenon but an outcome of lack of reliable data on inflationary expectations.
    Keywords: Inflation; Rational Expectations;
    JEL: E39
    Date: 2007–09
  20. By: Geethanjali Selvaretnam
    Abstract: Banks fail because of bad economic fundamentals, or panic withdrawals by depositors. We show that even though there is no need for regulation when the bank’s policy regarding its solvency is transparent, there is indeed need for regulation if there is a lack of transparency. When the bank has private information, it chooses lower reserves and higher early returns than what maximises depositor welfare, which increases the probability of bank runs. Therefore the regulators should .x a maximum for early return and minimum for reserves. With transparency, there is excess reserves, and this inefficiency increases with the proportion of impatient agents.
    Keywords: Early return, global game, optimal reserves, regulation, transparency.
    JEL: D82 G21 G28
    Date: 2007–09

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